Monmouth Senior Volunteer Corps

SCAN with Caregiver Volunteers

The proposed project is to create a “Monmouth Senior Volunteer Corps” combining education and training with volunteer opportunities to help seniors connect to their communities, continue using skills, abilities and interests, and provide vital service to others in need. SCAN will lead recruitment efforts to reach seniors who are interested in serving their community in retirement. The proposed program will be provided to up to 25-30 seniors in two phases. Phase I is 6 weeks of classroom-style instruction and group discussion on lifestyle issues facing seniors in retirement (finding purpose, building/rekindling relationships, nourishing mind/body/spirit) as well as challenges while volunteering (staying organized, best practices in volunteering, setting boundaries, self-care, maintaining “work”-life balance). Phase II begins with participants encouraged to sign up for volunteer positions with Caregiver Volunteers and a few for SCAN (both SCAN and Caregiver Volunteers have connections to other service opportunities if a participant prefers something different). Caregiver Volunteers will provide all training and on-boarding and then participants will start their volunteer opportunity. The group will still meet weekly for the next 4 weeks for group discussion on their experiences, concerns, and successes, so the group can support each other (discussions will be moderated with parameters to maintain the confidentiality of any clients served by volunteers).Senior participants will benefit from this project by finding new ways to contribute in the community after retirement, and by being prepared and supported as they start volunteer work. Nonprofits and community-based organizations will gain an added resource for skilled and energetic volunteers who are more likely to be successful because they have received programming to support their volunteer work. Caregiver Volunteers will specifically benefit as their clients are primarily seniors – the added value of peer relationships between volunteers and clients is immeasurable. The long-term buildout of this pilot project is a much larger Monmouth Senior Volunteer Corps serving many organizations and achieving efficiencies and economies of scale in volunteer coordination.

Both organizations contribute specific skills that will enhance this project. We see this first project as a pilot for a larger program. If successful, more classes would be held and a much larger volunteer base could be built. At the same time, we can solicit more organizations to participate by sharing their volunteer needs. Efficiencies can be created such as maintaining a collection of volunteers’ background checks so multiple organizations don’t have to conduct them on the same volunteer.